Anyone else getting a bit bored with the repetitive lessons?
There are so many lessons to go through and they have only 7 (?) different question types (including the voice recorder ones), and they're all pretty similar. Does anyone have any ideas for additional question types to liven things up a bit?
Furthermore, it's one thing when learning a language to be able to translate a sentence, but you don't develop fluency without constructing your own sentences using what you've learned.
1) Read a short passage, answer multiple choice question about it / write a sentence answering a question (hard to implement).
2) Make a sentence using words from a list of words you've learned
3) Fill in the blanks with the best word
4) Vocabulary tests (matching words to pictures, etc., multiple choice, fill in the blanks, etc.)
5) Crossword, word search, other games (pretty easy to automate)
Some of these would be great additions in my opinion. But things are still growing here, so I'm sure in time it will improve. We can't all sit on the board and pass down our ideas (DARN IT!) :) I certainly hope those leading this wonderful endeavour take all of our suggestions into consideration. I'm just very pleased to see this website have such an active community which only wants to see it improved and developed to its full capacity!
I really do want to emphasize that I think you cannot learn a language without forcing yourself to construct your own sentences. All the exercises in duolingo involve translating, transcribing, or reading other people's sentences.
There could be a special duolingo chat room where people talk to each other in the language they are learning with some kind of dictionary support to help you look up words. I realize you could do something similar on the stream but that seems tedious to check and responses are limited to the willingness of the people following you to answer and when people do respond it is not immediate.
Recommendation to all, until this site is fully kicking and dreching in language learning material (besides what it has now) I say go down to your local library get a dictionary in the language you are learning, get a note book. Start watching shows T.V in the language you are trying to learn. This is what I do. READ, WRITE, LISTEN, WATCH, PRACTICE, REPEAT.
Personally, I'd like to get some more practice translating from English into German rather than vice versa. Not a lot more, just tip the scales a bit more that way.
I actually qite like the repetitivity. It seems to have helped me learn a few thing so far anyway. I also like things simple, so I like the structure of duolingo, and when I need to practice my creative writing or other skills I will go to lang-8, or wherever.
The ideas for games and tests you suggest sounds a bit like the format for the program "tell me more" which I personally found pretty useless although it was distracting for a while.
The things I find boring are:(1) Having to type English sentences too often (it's probably a good idea to do it once or twice), especially when I get marked down for careless errors. It's less frustrating typing german, because I feel like I'm supposed to be paying attention then. And (2) some things do get a bit repetitive. Don't they eat anything apart from fish sandwiches?
Reptition is good to learn the vocabulary, but to understand and learn the grammar, I agree with Shim that - although it might be hard to implement properly - creating your own sentences would be an improvement over the strict translate-only approach of Duolingo. However, as Duolingo's main goal is not to teach us a new language (that is just a convenient side-product) but to "translate the web", I don't think that there will ever be an approach that's not translation-centric.
I find the repetition helpful in reinforcing ideas in my head. I'm well into learning French, but I'm still getting tripped up over basic things like eating/drinking verbs. And I do hate it when the owl cries. Sometimes I make the poor little guy cry so much I think he's going to take out a restraining order against me. :(
@Luis, Cant wait for the new activity !!!! , I hope there will be Vocabulary practice, more explanation and demonstartion with everything. (cases, sentence structre.. ect) .
@burgesszachary1 - A useful method indeed, and multiple sources, along with daily practice delivers the best results. I would have to say, however, that this thread is probably aimed more at what can be accomplished within this website and the learning format it's pursuing. To be honest, the format (despite any improvements yet to come) is engaging enough to have made me want to start learning again. Alright, I'll stop raving, but I'm very much looking forward to continuing to follow the development of this project - and learning new languages along the way!
As a life long academic, I can concur that the type of exercises that are considered "skill building" can seem to repetitive but with learning a language, there's really no other choice.
Really take advantage of trying to translate the webpages. Identify the verb conjugations and peculiar phrases and start writing about your own day and interests by incorporating those words. Take the words from the lessons and google other words of that category. This site will get you started but I'm sure there are websites where you can google "countries in Spanish" or something.
I wish this site gave us the ability to suggest webpages. I would rock anything business, sports, and history like 100 hours a week but I have to get through about 30 pages of arts, crafts, and softcore first #nocomplaintsonthesoftcore
I would also like to suggest an advanced section where material from translated websites can be incorporated into the practice.
Side note: once I've mastered a subject, I'd like to just go through the iterations as many times as possible without the hearts thing.
Shim: yes, the crying owl is still around. I see him almost every day. We're pretty much on a first-name basis by now. :(
Repetition is valuable, yes, but it does not have to be of the exact same sentence several times within a lesson.
Also, I think you are missing the importance of some of the other aspects, particularly Shim's point about constructing sentences in the target language.
You really can't learn a language without repetition and I prefer Duolingo's repetition over any other site because it doesn't get on my nerves like Flashcards do.
When I was 12 I started learning mixed martial arts and did it until I was 15. The class I was in they often made us repeat the same moves over and over and over. It was annoying at times but what I found out was that the reason they do this is so that it becomes automatic.
Duolingo is sort of the same way. You don't feel like you're learning to truly think in the language right now but if you keep practicing you will discover that the technique is similar to the one that my martial arts class used.
You can also use supplements to Duolingo and while I have heard people say you shouldn't have to use supplements if a language course is good that is not true at all. Rosetta Stone is $500 and "renowned" and even it doesn't teach you everything.
Using supplemental websites will help break up the monotony anyway. I know things can get boring when repetitive. I learned Japanese on LiveMocha and now I can barely look at the LiveMocha screen because I spent too much time there and got sick of it.
Some supplemental websites
There is a really good site that let's you do crossword puzzles, hangman, and a few other word games in the target language but I can't remember the name for some reason! I went on it all the time as a kid when studying Spanish in middle school. I think it still exists.
You could always post to your followers (in your stream) and try to converse in the language you are learning.
I'm seconding Almonaster's point, particularly about getting exactly the same sentences over and over in a single unit. How many times must I write that I do not have the vegetable recipes? I ask you! Also like Shim's point about trying to write original or new sentences, even very simple ones, of our own in the language we're learning. So far I'm learning what sound like very "grade one" questions and statements, but I'm not learning how I would apply any of what I've learned if I were asked about other matters. So something from the programmers addressing that would be most appreciated! :)
schoenewaelder and davidmullin1240 I agree w/ pretty nearly 100%. It is REALLY nice to have these drills. But I haven't been here long, so they may not have enough variety after awhile. We'll see. Crosswords, and fill-in-the-blanks exercises, and pushing around words to make sentences are a waste of time (IMHO) from a learning-language skills perspective. The owl introduced itself to me right off but has not been back since. However, I'm still at the early stages, repeating material from long ago, and I suspect the owl and I will soon be bosom buddies, once I've got farther along.
Yes the fact that its entirely based on direct translation to english is a pretty major flaw i think